Fast and Furious 6 Gets UK Movie Pirate 33 Month Jail Term

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Fast and Furious 6 Gets UK Movie Pirate 33 Month Jail Term

Anti-piracy group FACT played a major role in Philip Danks' arrest.

A 25 year old man, Philip Danks, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison on movie piracy charges after distributing Fast and Furious 6 via torrent sites and Facebook. His sister's boyfriend, Michael Bell, charged with aiding distribution, was sentenced to a community order for 120 hours unpaid work. British trade organization Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), in an official statement, hailed this as "an important case and an important sentence."

Danks filmed the movie on the first day of its release in cinema with a camcorder, and had to go back for a second attempt when the battery on his first camcorder died. He then offered physical copies for sale on Facebook at 1.50 each, as well as a torrent feed. His torrent was downloaded more than 700,000 times, FACT alleges, and Danks continued to copy and sell movies even after his arrest.

According to the judge, it was the physical copy sale, as well as the fact that Danks recorded it himself on the very first day of theatrical release, that earned him the 33 month prison term. "Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures," Danks is supposed to have posted on Facebook.

All told, Danks is alleged to have made about 1,000 from his activity. According to FACT, Danks' piracy cost Universal "millions of pounds of loss," though the actual amount is unknown and probably unquantifiable.

Danks was tracked down because he used the same handle for his torrent, TheCod3r, as he did on dating site Plenty of Fish. In a statement to TorrentFreak, Danks alleged that FACT played a central role in his arrest.

"I was detained for 3 hours 12 minutes, out of that I was questioned for approximately 40 minutes," said Danks on the occasion of his first detention in May. The police would later return and arrest him and Bell in September. "One police officer and two FACT officers conducted the interview. The police officer sat back and let FACT do all the questioning, so FACT were running the show."

Source: Ars Technica

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The important bit to note in this case is that he then sold his poorly made cam recording for money, this is undoubtedly why the sentence was as harsh as it was. There is a massive legal gulf between "I took a copy of this" and "I sold a copy of this".

Pretty humiliating being put in jail for stealing garbage.

Oh he was recording it and selling it for money? Fuck him then, although 33 months is a bit harsh.

millions of pounds? are they fucking high?

Good. I like to see stupidity like this bite people in the arse. What was his thought process like?

'I just did something illegal. I know what would be good I will now publicise on social media that can be easily traked back to me that I did something illegal and I will also try to sell the movie to other people making it even more illegal'

This is the correct way piracy should be handled. It's like drugs, go after the distributors.

Once you remove the distributors the downloaders automatically stop being a problem. And it's waist of resources to catch the millions of them.

33 months for 1000lbs in stolen goods is perhaps a bit much but that he was caught and tried, I have no problems with.

You can't claim this guy was innocent. He SOLD cam copies of films that were in theatres at the time.

According to FACT, Danks' piracy cost Universal "millions of pounds of loss,"

How on earth do they get those numbers?

Liek... How do they know that this amount of people would instead go to the cinema to watch it? Most of them would probably ignore it if there was no pirated version anyway since they have no intention of paying for it to begin with.

You get more jail time pirating a movie than you would mowing down a family while drink driving because costing rich people the chance of making more money is something you just don't do.

vdrandom:

According to FACT, Danks' piracy cost Universal "millions of pounds of loss,"

How on earth do they get those numbers?

Liek... How do they know that this amount of people would instead go to the cinema to watch it? Most of them would probably ignore it if there was no pirated version anyway since they have no intention of paying for it to begin with.

It's fairly easy, they take the 700,000 downloads and multiply by the ticket price of ~10 to get ~7,000,000.
The simple fact that people did download it is enough to establish a desire for the product so they can feel quite safe in those numbers. It probably doesn't matter that they wouldn't have watched it in the cinema anyway; that argument falls completely flat as it is essentially saying that the "victim" is no worse off in either case.
Case one, you don't see their movie, you don't pay any money
Case two, you illegally download their movie, you don't pay any money.

That argument equates those two situations, which is demonstrably nonsense. You have benefited (lol, in this particular case) from someone else's work without paying them ergo you have stolen from them. Hence their statement.

Angelous Wang:
This is the correct way piracy should be handled. It's like drugs, go after the distributors.

Once you remove the distributors the downloaders automatically stop being a problem. And it's waist of resources to catch the millions of them.

No. Like drugs, the way to actually combat it is to ask 'why are people doing this in the first place?'

Piracy exists because the entertainment industry refuses to change its dinosaur business model. That and they have a habit of putting out a ton of shit products. Giving some idiot (and lets be frank, this guy was a total moron) 33 months jail-time will do absolutely nothing to stop piracy.

What fascinates me about this is, if Danks is to be believed, FACT sat in on his official interrogation and basically told the police how to investigate the case. I can't think of any other pressure group with that kind of authority.

On one side, he is an idiot that got what was coming to him for not only copying but selling a movie. Anyone should know better than to try and record a film in shaky cam, where someone can notice and get the cops there before you know your cover's been blown, or get your ID. It's even more humiliating to get caught a second time for the same film since you are too foolish to charge your battery before then. Also, selling a pirate copy online is like painting a big red target on your backside and saying, "here's a high bore rifle, come get me." But, there are two things that irk me.

One is they sentenced him to 33 months of prison while his accomplice got off with community service. Honestly, he should have gotten a lesser jail sentence but some community service time as well (unless he does end up it a chain gang, like here in the US with non-violent convicts, then it's all good). Taking tax money out to keep people like this locked up is stupid.

The other is this FACT group. It sounds like the typical lobbyist/corporate coalition group that was founded by movie distributors to "enhance" the truth, like that lovely "millions of pounds of loss." (Yeah, right. A movie who's main draw is seeing cars racing on a huge screen was copied hundreds of thousands of times from this one guys twitchy, poor sounding home video.) What really strikes me as awkward is they were at the interrogation. Unless the are a government agency they shouldn't be there. They should have just provide all the info the could to authorities. WE sure wouldn't be allowed to question the guy who stole our TVs or something just because we're the victims in the crimes. Then again, We don't represent a multi-billion dollar industry, so we don't deserve a special privileges big companies do, even in trivial cases like this one.

ron1n:

Angelous Wang:
This is the correct way piracy should be handled. It's like drugs, go after the distributors.

Once you remove the distributors the downloaders automatically stop being a problem. And it's waist of resources to catch the millions of them.

No. Like drugs, the way to actually combat it is to ask 'why are people doing this in the first place?'

Piracy exists because the entertainment industry refuses to change its dinosaur business model. That and they have a habit of putting out a ton of shit products. Giving some idiot (and lets be frank, this guy was a total moron) 33 months jail-time will do absolutely nothing to stop piracy.

Thats a very optimistic way to look at it. Assuming that everybody is downloading purely because of a lack of digital access really isnt true. The simple answer is people are lazy and greedy, a torrent is easy to get, and its free. There are still tons of shows out there that are being pirated that are on Netflix and on other services.. people still torrent them because its free. Yes the Entertainment industry being stupid and not updated their business model is certainly not helping, but it isnt the main reason.

They could offer it in Ultra Super HD with all the special features on their online servie with no load times..and you know what will happen? People will rip it and put it on pirate bay so other people can get it for free.

Ah, don't worry folks. He'll be out by next week: Our (yes, I'm from the UK) court system and overcrowded prisons will see to that. Until then, though, he'll get a nice comfy cell to call home - most likely with an console and tv of some sort.

Doom-Slayer:

Thats a very optimistic way to look at it. Assuming that everybody is downloading purely because of a lack of digital access really isnt true. The simple answer is people are lazy and greedy, a torrent is easy to get, and its free. There are still tons of shows out there that are being pirated that are on Netflix and on other services.. people still torrent them because its free. Yes the Entertainment industry being stupid and not updated their business model is certainly not helping, but it isnt the main reason.

They could offer it in Ultra Super HD with all the special features on their online servie with no load times..and you know what will happen? People will rip it and put it on pirate bay so other people can get it for free.

Yes there will always be people that will want still steal it. That's impossible to completely eradicate. But I think you'd find there would be a large percentage of people who would happily pay for a better service/for more choice. Not only could they potentially convert a number of the people pirating but you also have to take into account the people who have simply stopped watching movies because it's too expensive and they don't want to pirate.

Yes hd rips could go up, but at the very least, it would allow the film industry to control WHEN the rip goes up. After all, do you think people will actually bother downloading a piece of shit cam rip when they know a good quality copy is going to drop in a week or two?

Anyway the point is, even if they can't stamp out piracy all together, they could be making a lot more money and missing out on a lot less if they took some proactive steps toward changing the way they offer their product/service.

Cartographer:
That argument equates those two situations, which is demonstrably nonsense. You have benefited (lol, in this particular case) from someone else's work without paying them ergo you have stolen from them. Hence their statement.

It is not.

Sadly, law around the world makes owning rights to a piece of content equal to owning an item. Yes, pirating is a crime, but for some reason copying and providing a copy will make one do more time than actual burglary in many cases.

First, stealing means not only benefiting from stolen items but also removing them from the legal owner. Like, if a woodworker gets some of the chairs he made for the shop stolen, it's a proper theft - chairs are gone and he cannot sell them anymore. Not the case with Universal here: they still can and will sell as many copies as they can, therefore it is not stealing, not by definition. (Not arguing that it is not a crime here, just to be clear.)

Second, if I get an item that fails to fulfil the use I want it for, I will return it to the store or resell it to someone who finds it useful. Although... If I watch a bad film that was hyped in media and trailers? Can I, like, complain to the cinema or a company who shot it and get my money back? Wait, are you going to say that it's a service and I pay for the experience? But why on earth have you been telling me that it CAN BE STOLEN?

I like to imagine it was a proper Jack Bauer interrogation with a large amount of shouting "WHERE ARE THE TAPES?!" and hollywood torture.

First off Universal is full of shit if they think they even one million pounds in profit thanks to this one guy.

Secondly, good on FACT for doing what they did. Uploading it to a torrent site is one thing, but making money off of piracy is a whole 'nother issue. And flaunting it on Facebook of all places is downright stupid.

The jail term is harsh, but fair.

ron1n:

Yes there will always be people that will want still steal it. That's impossible to completely eradicate. But I think you'd find there would be a large percentage of people who would happily pay for a better service/for more choice. Not only could they potentially convert a number of the people pirating but you also have to take into account the people who have simply stopped watching movies because it's too expensive and they don't want to pirate.

Yes hd rips could go up, but at the very least, it would allow the film industry to control WHEN the rip goes up. After all, do you think people will actually bother downloading a piece of shit cam rip when they know a good quality copy is going to drop in a week or two?

Anyway the point is, even if they can't stamp out piracy all together, they could be making a lot more money and missing out on a lot less if they took some proactive steps toward changing the way they offer their product/service.

You make good points, and I will conceed, the attitude is starting to shift in that people demand quality. One thing though is that right now, the demand for immediacy is HUGE. A company uploaded a super HD version of a film 1 week after film realease? To people who want it, that is unacceptable.

A classic example, is that here Game of Thrones used to(or may still) get aired 1 week later than the US. Almost everybody I knew that watcedh GoT already HAD a TV and the appropriate channel payed for, but they pirated it anyway simply because they wanted it sooner.

Its almost impossible for companies to appease the masses. Without a huge cultural shift, or vastly improved servies, right now the main way you stop piracy is by viciously targeting the distributes to dissuade more and more people from sharing. It certainly isnt the best option, but right now its what works until we get a better system in place everywhere.

KaZuYa:
You get more jail time pirating a movie than you would mowing down a family while drink driving because costing rich people the chance of making more money is something you just don't do.

This!

33 months for pirating a movie, is this really justice? However, there's an old chinese saying: the poor can't go against the rich, the rich can't go against the government. I guess this is true even to this day.

Doom-Slayer:

You make good points, and I will conceed, the attitude is starting to shift in that people demand quality. One thing though is that right now, the demand for immediacy is HUGE. A company uploaded a super HD version of a film 1 week after film realease? To people who want it, that is unacceptable.

A classic example, is that here Game of Thrones used to(or may still) get aired 1 week later than the US. Almost everybody I knew that watcedh GoT already HAD a TV and the appropriate channel payed for, but they pirated it anyway simply because they wanted it sooner.

Its almost impossible for companies to appease the masses. Without a huge cultural shift, or vastly improved servies, right now the main way you stop piracy is by viciously targeting the distributes to dissuade more and more people from sharing. It certainly isnt the best option, but right now its what works until we get a better system in place everywhere.

But that's just it. Is there any solid evidence to suggest that maliciously going after up-loaders and down-loaders has made an iota of difference to piracy? I mean, we are talking about guys with camcorders. Put one in jail, there's another hundred or more to take their place.

I agree immediacy is the issue, but the reality is, people refuse to be held down by industry mandated cordoning-off of content in any media now days. Music, TV, Gaming are exactly the same. They need to just start servicing this demand and try and provide as good a service as they can. At least they could start getting people on their side of the issue. I have zero sympathy for them until they try to change.

I mean, for example: In Australia, it costs roughly $20+ for an adult ticket. $15-$20 more for a popcorn and drink. If I have to pay $35-$40 for the 'cinema experience' I'm simply not going to go. Hell, if they charged me the same amount but let me stream it in the comfort of my own home, I'd actually pay to see more movies in a given year. At least I know I'll be able to enjoy the film in the comfort and quiet of my own home and pay $5 for my own snacks.

The cinema is the weak link currently. They are effectively the 'Gamestop' of the film industry.

ExtraDebit:

KaZuYa:
You get more jail time pirating a movie than you would mowing down a family while drink driving because costing rich people the chance of making more money is something you just don't do.

This!

33 months for pirating a movie, is this really justice? However, there's an old chinese saying: the poor can't go against the rich, the rich can't go against the government. I guess this is true even to this day.

Apparently they can seeing as this private business just got a guy jailed over almost nothing.

Karloff:
His torrent was uploaded more than 700,000 times

He uploaded it 700,000 times? He must have a lot of spare time to have done that :P Methinks you meant downloaded 700,000 times!

CriticalMiss:

Karloff:
His torrent was uploaded more than 700,000 times

He uploaded it 700,000 times? He must have a lot of spare time to have done that :P Methinks you meant downloaded 700,000 times!

Ah, nuts. Adjusted. Thanks!

CpT_x_Killsteal:

The jail term is harsh, but fair.

Yes because ruining someone's life and costing the tax payer even more for such trivial "crime" to protect large corporations is fair, They should have gave him the rope. too bad it's banned.

So he admitted to the crime on facebook?

That's hilarious!

He should get 33 years for stupidity.

Yeeeeeah, Recorded it himself, sold it for personal profit AND was dumb enough to have it on his facebook. lololol Twat. Good.

Brilliant sentencing, there. Paedophiles and violent criminals get similar amounts. Burglars can get caught multiple times before they would get a similar sentence. Not saying he did nothing wrong. just the sentencing is out of proportion.

vdrandom:

Cartographer:
That argument equates those two situations, which is demonstrably nonsense. You have benefited (lol, in this particular case) from someone else's work without paying them ergo you have stolen from them. Hence their statement.

First, stealing means not only benefiting from stolen items but also removing them from the legal owner.

No, I'm afraid that is a particularly antiquated view of ownership which, like most countries' laws, hasn't taken account of technology and is what copyright law attempts to rectify (badly). That view simply doesn't work in a world where electronic copies of data are so easy to copy/steal/distribute. There has to be some protection for the producer of said data, be they a multinational corporation raking in billions from the sweat of slave labour or a single person working every minute of their free time to scrape a living together. Their work is theirs and they have a right to seek compensation whenever anyone else uses/watches/whatever their work. The view that you have to deprive someone of an item for it to be theft belongs squarely in the last century (where it was out of date even then).

vdrandom:
Like, if a woodworker gets some of the chairs he made for the shop stolen, it's a proper theft - chairs are gone and he cannot sell them anymore. Not the case with Universal here: they still can and will sell as many copies as they can, therefore it is not stealing, not by definition. (Not arguing that it is not a crime here, just to be clear.)

Except your own reasoning falls down here. If someone has illegally obtained a copy of (in this case) a movie, there is no reason to assume they will seek to pay the producer for a legal copy. In other words, by taking a copy, they are depriving the producer of a sale. The notion that they will pay for a legal copy later, is irrelevant as it is functionally the same as "it's not theft if I intend to return it later". Similarly, the notion that they wouldn't have bought one anyway is, as I explained in the post you quoted, also nonsense.

vdrandom:
Second, if I get an item that fails to fulfil the use I want it for, I will return it to the store or resell it to someone who finds it useful. Although... If I watch a bad film that was hyped in media and trailers? Can I, like, complain to the cinema or a company who shot it and get my money back? Wait, are you going to say that it's a service and I pay for the experience? But why on earth have you been telling me that it CAN BE STOLEN?

Strangely, if you attend a cinema and the movie is without sound, the picture is awful, the film skips and jumps, you CAN get a refund; you can and have every right to your money back. If you didn't like it, tough, that is simply life and not legislated for, you have no right to a refund if you simply don't like something (seriously, go look up statutory rights; unless there is an actual fault with an item, you have no right to a refund, retailers can offer them if they choose, but are under no obligation to bow to your changing whims).

33 months for piracy? What the fuck? And how exactly did they calculate the amount of money that Universal Pictures lost because of this? They can't. People who pirate movies probably wouldn't have gone out to see it anyway.

Adam Jensen:
33 months for piracy? What the fuck? And how exactly did they calculate the amount of money that Universal Pictures lost because of this? They can't. People who pirate movies probably wouldn't have gone out to see it anyway.

That's pretty much the universal reason as to why people pirate. The majority at least don't have the money to actually see it..same goes for video games.

DarkhoIlow:
That's pretty much the universal reason as to why people pirate. The majority at least don't have the money to actually see it..same goes for video games.

They pay more for internet access. They have the money for a movie ticket, they just don't care enough about the movie.

This issue should be handled by sending a warning to everyone who downloaded the movie/game etc. asking them to pay the full price. And maybe a few extra bucks to cover the expenses of doing so. There's no need to incarcerate people for this crap. It fixes nothing and it ruins lives.

Adam Jensen:
33 months for piracy? What the fuck? And how exactly did they calculate the amount of money that Universal Pictures lost because of this? They can't. People who pirate movies probably wouldn't have gone out to see it anyway.

Actually, I believe the reason for the 33 months is because he sold copies and not just pirated it and if he just put it available for download his sentence would have been less.

As far as calculating losses there is never an exact way to calculate those losses, its like the one hockey lawsuit that was finally settled where they estimated how much the player would have earned based on averages and past knowledge. With something like this its more vague, but even if they were to say 25% of the people that downloaded the movie would have seen it in theaters they can still argue it cost the company millions.

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